Andrew Tate has been lining his pockets via right-wing social media.
The 36-year-old former pro kickboxer turned misogynistic “alpha male” influencer, who Romanian authorities took into custody in late December as they pursue allegations of human trafficking and rape, signed deals in 2022 with Rumble and GETTR to exclusively post content on their platforms.
Those agreements were not a secret. In fact, as you might imagine, both right-wing social media companies at the time were proud to tout their relationship with Tate, who has been banned from YouTube and TikTok. But what has not been publicly known, until now, is just how lucrative the deals were for the influencer.
Tate has privately boasted that his deal with Rumble, the video-based social media site popular with conservatives that markets itself as “immune to cancel culture,” was worth a staggering $9 million.
CNN could not independently confirm the valuation of the deal. But asked for comment, Rumble did not deny the price of the agreement, acknowledging in a statement that it does have deals with its creators and has “offered incentives” to them. The company went on to call for Tate to be rigorously investigated over the sex crimes he’s alleged to have committed.
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“Rumble strongly condemns human trafficking and sexual abuse, and our platform prohibits pornography and all forms of illegal activity. At the same time, every accused deserves due process,” Rumble said Thursday evening. “The allegations against Andrew Tate, which do not appear to involve any content on Rumble, should be investigated promptly and thoroughly, and we will not prejudge that investigation.”
It’s not clear precisely how much Tate’s deal with GETTR was worth; the company did not comment on Thursday. Neither did Tate, who remains in custody in Romania, and a representative for him could not be reached for comment.
Million-dollar deals are not necessarily unprecedented in the right-wing social space. Axios reported earlier this month that Donald Trump Jr. had struck a multiyear, seven-figure agreement with Rumble. And other personalities, such as Russell Brand and Glenn Greenwald, have struck their own deals with the platform. Rumble, which went public last year via a SPAC, was reportedly valued at over $2 billion and has received financial backing from billionaire Peter Thiel.
The distribution agreements underscore how profitable it can be to work as an influencer in right-wing media. And they show how financially rewarding deals with upstart social media companies can be as they work to draw users to their platforms while competing with far more established technology giants, such as Twitter and YouTube.
Despite being banned by the vast majority of mainstream social media platforms, Tate remains influential among young men. His rants claiming most of society supposedly remains locked in “The Matrix,” which he describes as a world governed by shadowy elites hellbent on compelling the masses to work for them, rack up millions of views. And he has, in particular, grown a big following with younger men through his commentary on male supremacy. Before his TikTok account was banned, he amassed 11.6 billion views.
The deals with Tate seemed to work well for both parties. Tate drove significant engagement to both platforms. Sky News reported in September, for instance, that daily active users on Rumble surged 45.3% the week Tate slashed onto the platform. And GETTR credited Tate in a press release for helping drive engagement.
CNN was told that his deal with GETTR ended when he rejoined Twitter in late November after Elon Musk lifted the ban previously held on his account. But with Tate in custody facing serious charges, the fate of his lucrative deal with Rumble remains to be seen.